Korean food off the village menu
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | June 22, 2017
When Andy Oh recently met with his accountant, it was clear that one of his two businesses wasn’t viable.
“We tried as much as we can,” said Oh in an interview on Wednesday.
On June 30, after only a year in operation, he will be closing Hankook E Korean Cuisine on Highland Street
in Haliburton. Oh and wife, Sunny Park, also own Maple Avenue Tap & Grill on Maple Avenue. It’s been in
business for three-and-a-half years and continues to do well, said Oh.
Despite their desire to try something different, there haven’t been enough customers coming through the door.
“Since September, all the city people were gone and we never got the local people,” he said, explaining that only a small group of locals were interested in trying Korean cuisine.
Oh has put a great deal of effort into both establishments, working an average of 15 hours per day, seven days a week. There’s little breathing room and it’s very tiring, he admits.
“I tried to put all my passion and energy [into it].”
The reality of the situation broke his wife’s heart because she is very passionate about the business, he said.
Their lease at Maple Avenue ends October 2018. A month or two prior, they will begin the transition to move the
restaurant to Highland Street. They bought the property two years ago.
The menu will remain 70 per cent comfort food and 30 per cent Asian.
He understands that some customers will be disappointed but stresses that good food and service will continue to be top priorities.
“I want to ask them [loyal customers] to keep watching me and supporting me,” he said. “My team is always doing their best to meet their expectations.”
Twenty-two people are employed between both restaurants. Oh intends on keeping all of them on-board if possible.
The recently renovated building on Highland Street will be available for rent for special events until the move
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.